Building Inclusive Communities – Access to Premises Standards

What are the Access to Premises Standards?
The Premises Standards, which came into effect on 1 May 2011, aim to provide people with disability with dignified and equitable access to buildings, and provide certainty to industry that they are complying with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).

First, the guiding principles of the Premises Standards are the objects of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA), which are:

• to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the basis of their disabilities in various areas, and in particular access to premises, work, accommodation and the provision of facilities, services and land;

• to ensure, as far as practicable, that persons with disabilities have the same rights to equality before the law as the rest of the community; and

• to promote recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that persons with disabilities have the same fundamental rights as the rest of the community.

Second, the purpose of the Premises Standards is:

• to ensure that dignified, equitable, cost-effective and reasonably achievable access to buildings, and facilities and services within buildings, is provided for people with disability, and

• to give certainty to building certifiers, developers and managers that if the Standards are complied with they cannot be subject to a successful complaint under the DDA in relation to those matters covered by the Premises Standards.

Third, it is unlawful to contravene the Premises Standards.

Fourth, the Premises Standards specify how the objects of the DDA are to be achieved in the provision of accessible buildings.


 

One of the most commonly asked questions about the new car parking standards is
WHY IS THERE NO BOLLARD IN THE SHARED SPACE?

This is from the Access to Premises Standards Guidelines:

Note on AS/NZS 2890.6
AS 2890.6 requires a bollard be placed to prevent cars from blocking a shared area at an accessible carparking space. While the standard specifies the location of the bollard it does not include specifications on matters such as height, diameter or luminance contrast. Developers should consider these issues to ensure visibility and to ensure bollards do not encroach on space required by someone getting into or out of their car. Flexible bollards might be considered to reduce the chances of damage to cars.
As with all other areas of compliance achieving Deemed-to-Satisfy compliance with AS 2890.6 in existing buildings may on occasion be difficult because of the existing carpark layout. Suitable Alternative Solutions might be developed to meet the Performance Requirement.

To find out more about how the standards are meant to be applied and other provisions visit:
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/page/PremisesStandardsGuidelineV2.pdf

To view the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 visit:
https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2010L00668

To view the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (current version) visit:
https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2015C00252

While these are Commonwealth laws (applied nationally to the whole of Australia) it is important to remember these are minimum standards and may have variations applied by your state or council by-laws, above and beyond the minimum.

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